The Wild Garlic Mistake You've Been Making, According To Jamie Oliver

There's nothing like the smell of garlic wafting through the house, and unless a garlic-scented candle is on your wish list, that scent will have to be created in the kitchen. While garlic typically isn't a tough ingredient to find at your local market, wild garlic may be hiding right in your backyard. Often referred to as ramsons, bear's garlic, or buckrams according to Country File, this cousin of garlic has leaves that grow in bounty during the peak spring season, particularly in their native land of Britain. If you dread peeling garlic bulbs, then wild garlic will be your new favorite ingredient.

Foraging is essentially a treasure hunt with a prize you can toss in your frying pan, but there's more to it than just a fun excursion. Many wild plants are poisonous or resemble other inedible plants, so it's essential to quadruple check anything you find and plan on eating. It's certainly not something to dismiss, as wild garlic often gets confused with its deadly lookalike Lily-of-the-Valley, says Eat and Breathe, so better safe than sorry.

Essex-raised chef Jamie Oliver is a food foraging supporter and has learned some tips and tricks over the years. Oliver hits the forest to stock up on wild garlic to toss in signature dishes — such as wild garlic and sausage fusilli, which he explains how to make on his website — and from doing so, he has learned an easy tip for making sure you have the right plant.

Jamie Oliver shares this simple foraging trick that could save you a big stomachache

Jamie Oliver, now a food-hunting aficionado, shared a helpful tip on Instagram for fellow foragers. When hunting for wild garlic, always "rub the wild garlic together and if it doesn't smell like garlic then leave it behind," says Oliver. This easy trick should only take a couple of seconds and will prevent some potentially ruined dishes. It's a surefire way to determine if you've unearthed the right leaves, as that potent garlic smell is hard to miss.

If your scent is failing you, there is another way to check if you have the correct plant in your hand and that's by taking a look at the flowers. The delicate flowers of wild garlic should have six white petals, confirms Eat and Breathe. While this is a handy trick, the flowers start to bloom near the end of prime harvesting time, so if you want to snag wild garlic when it is most potent, Oliver's trick is the way to go.